House Of Hap­pi­ness lives up to name

The New Paper - - LIFESTYLE - YEOH WEE TECK

I may have dis­cov­ered one of my favourite new places to eat in Be­dok.

House Of Hap­pi­ness made me happy for an hour as I wolfed down bowls and bowls of rice. It was a carb night­mare for some, but such a joy for me.

The clay­pot rice restau­rant has dis­cov­ered a way around what it per­ceives as a downer – the long wait­ing time for the dish to be cooked – and em­ployed a par­boil­ing tech­nique to has­ten the process.

Usu­ally, this sets off alarms for me. But when tast­ing it, you will prob­a­bly not be able to tell the dif­fer­ence.

Given our coun­try’s love of Ja­panese food, the Onsen Egg with Ikura and To­biko ($11) seems like a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion.

It is ba­si­cally all those in­gre­di­ents with the rice, and you lib­er­ally splash the house-made sauce of red bean-based dark sauce, Shaox­ing wine and gar­lic.

The bursts of the roe in­side your mouth, plus that in­tox­i­cat­ing mel­low sauce makes this one of the more in­ter­est­ing dishes I have tried.

Also de­serv­ing at­ten­tion is the Teriyaki Pork Jowl ($7) fea­tur­ing pork jowl slices that have been cooked sous vide for 16 hours, mar­i­nated in a teriyaki sauce and then pan-seared.

The salti­ness of the sauce works well with the mel­low and ten­der pork. The meat is so stel­lar that the rice is an af­ter­thought.

My favourite of the lot – Pork Lard, Furikake, Onsen Egg ($7) – should join the menu from to­mor­row. I had a pre­view of it be­cause the chef was test­ing it out and get­ting opin­ions.

Well, my opin­ion is that this is bliss.

But as it is, it is the right bal­ance of tex­ture and sen­sa­tions.

The egg may mud­dle the tex­ture a lit­tle but that is be­cause I want all my deep-fried lard crispy. There is a se­ries of sides too, in case you are tired of just eat­ing clay­pot.

The peo­ple be­hind House Of Hap­pi­ness are also the ones re­spon­si­ble for the pop­u­lar stall Mr Lor­bak in Ubi, so nat­u­rally they brought some of their sig­na­ture dishes over.

The Sig­na­ture Lor­bak ($9) is a must-have be­cause there are few things more de­li­cious than pork braised overnight in a stock of herbs and spices. The meat is so ten­der, with the flavours locked into the skin.

Way less suc­cess­ful is the Lun­cheon Fries ($4). I was baf­fled why it was rec­om­mended, be­cause there is noth­ing in­ven­tive, in­ter­est­ing or ex­cit­ing about it. I could have done this at home with my air fryer.

But still, I fin­ished it be­cause one sim­ply does not waste lun­cheon meat.

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TNP PHO­TOS: YEOH WEE TECK

(Clock­wise from left) Onsen Egg with Ikura and To­biko; Teriyaki Pork Jowl; Pork Lard, Furikake, Onsen Egg; Sig­na­ture Lor­bak; and Lun­cheon Fries.

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